Last week’s September 11th post was well received, and a big thank you goes out to the best peeps in the blogosphere for your touching comments. You guys are what make this place worth the visit.
And now the news . . .
The Trump administration’s decision to allow a big game hunter to bring home a lion trophy he collected while on safari in Tanzania achieves yet another low point for 1600. Previously banned from entering the country based on the US Endangered Species Act, the US Fish and Wildlife Service now considers such applications on a “case by case basis”. Sir David Attenborough once remarked that if humans disappeared tomorrow, the world would probably be much better off. He wasn’t wrong.
This college football season will be a trying one for Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson, who is dealing with impossible loss after his wife Wendy lost her battle with breast cancer on August 19th. So when Georgia Bulldog fans welcomed him back to the sidelines by wearing pink in honor of Wendy, it moved him to tears. He described it as “One of the classiest moves I’ve ever seen,” If the Dawgs have as good a year as their fans are having, they’re gonna win it all.
If NFL pundits were as proficient at sandblasting teams like the Chiefs for signing bad guys like Tyreek Hill and Frank Clark as they are at trashing the Dolphins for tanking . . . maybe the league wouldn’t be stuck in the dark ages when it comes to domestic violence.
Abby Fink’s errant text to a wrong number ended in a righteous gesture that has taken on a life of its own. Fink was reaching out to her friend Shaun Jakeman whose son is in the ICU but instead sent her text to a stranger named Bill. Fink offered to bring dinner, to which Bill joked that he had a seafood allergy, after which he learned the what’s what: That Shaun’s son Noah suffers from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy, as well as cerebral palsy. Bill immediately asked how he could help before setting up a fundraiser on his Facebook page, and he’s planning on meeting Noah soon. Let’s just call Bill the angel of wrong numbers.
There’s fashion forward . . and fashion faux pas . . and then there’s what Bstroy recently unveiled during New York Fashion Week: School shooting themed hoodies. The distressed hoodies, complete with bullet holes, feature Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine. And I just can’t add anything, because what is there to say? Other than what the fuck were they thinking?
Right wing loud mouth Michelle Malkin isn’t much for tributes. Within hours of receiving the news that renowned journalist Cokie Roberts had passed, Malkin stated that Roberts was “one of the first guilty culprits of fake news.”. Heartwarming stuff.
Carson King is the Boss of epic beer runs. The Iowa State student held up a handmade sign during a nationally broadcast college pregame show asking for beer money and leaving his Venmo handle. Forty thousand bucks later, he decided to gift himself a single case of beer and give the rest to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Anheuser-Busch and Venmo both loved King’s story so much that they matched it, with the tote board now passing one hundred thousand dollars in donations. The kid has a PhD in party.
Ebony Rhodes was well acquainted with rock bottom when a traffic stop introduced her to another spiral. Her expired tags would become an eviction notice, since Rhodes and her four children were living in her 1997 Buick Regal. Enter Deputy Police Chief Jeff Glazier who took it upon himself to find a shelter for the family, allowing Ebony to save up for an apartment. Glazier then set up a GoFundMe page for the family that will help cover hospital bills for three of her kids, including her youngest daughter who has Lupus. Glazier not only protected in this instance, he served. Mightily. (Big thank you to Susannah for this feel good scoop.)
Appreciating the good guys shouldn’t be a sometimes thing, reserved for national holidays or somber occasions. Because duty isn’t a sometimes thing for the men and women who put on a uniform every day. It doesn’t mean they’re infallible and it doesn’t mean their actions cannot be questioned. But to slant our opinions on every uniform is to miss out on cops like Bobby White, who became known as “the basketball cop” after video of him responding to a noise complaint in Gainesville, Florida went viral a few years back.
A white cop makes the scene where black kids are hanging out, things can go sideways in a hurry. Bobby White defused the situation by letting them know he had no problem with some kids balling. He even joined in. It wasn’t a “look at me” moment, but rather, a “look at us” moment, as in . . look at all the better outcomes we might achieve with just a little bit of understanding and some dialogue.
So the other day, The Meritorious Q sent me the “rematch” of that pickup game that happened three years ago but is still scoring all this time later. White brought Shaquille O’Neal out with him for another round, and it was such a brilliant spin move on what had already proven to be a wonderful story. Of hope. Because Shaq provides the kind of soul hug that doesn’t just light up the room he enters, it provides electricity for the entire neighborhood.
It was a valuable reminder that we don’t have to let anyone tell us what the world is supposed to look like. Because the better can happen from our rolled up sleeves to the tips of our fingers. In the quiet of our daily breaths to the pulse of a great big world that isn’t so frightfully hopeless when you let the ball bounce, and you let the kids play. Imagine the places we might find when the noise ceases to be a complaint, and becomes something else entirely.